Three transport improvement projects were given the green light for funding last Friday (27 July) at a meeting of the West of England Joint Committee, attended by Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader of North Somerset Council with portfolio responsibility for highways.

Under the agreement Weston-super-Mare town centre will see a further £2.25m invested over the next three years. As well as the £4.45m works already planned for Alexandra Parade and Station Road, South Parade, Regent Street and Uphill Road North will also now benefit.

£1.7m of the work is funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, with the remainder committed from North Somerset Council’s ringfenced Local Transport Plan and its Medium Term Financial Plan.

South Parade is already set for £700,000 of improvements this September and this latest funding will see a further £875,000 invested. This second phase of work to be carried out will include better access for pedestrians and cyclists following a realignment of the existing road layout and bus stop improvements. The improvement works will offer drivers better visibility, give more space for pedestrians and cyclists and make it a safer place for residents and visitors.

Regent Street will benefit from £750,000 investment and provide better connectivity between the High Street, Princess Royal Square and the Grand Pier. The project aims to provide a more attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists with fewer vehicles using the road, while improving the reliability of bus times. The upgrade for Regent Street will increase economic activity in the area from tourists visiting the town and see more people visiting the High Street and Regent Street as well as the seafront.

Finally, Uphill Road North will be widened at a cost of £600,000 to allow a shared-use path between Weston seafront and Uphill providing a traffic-free section alongside the main road for use by cyclists and pedestrians. This work will provide a safer environment for people enjoying the new Weston to Brean section of the coastal towns cycle route.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “The programme focuses primarily on improving vehicular, walking and cycling links in the town and giving greater priority to public transport within the centre. It will improve journey times and create high-quality public spaces that will further improve the town’s retail and tourism activity.

“Further upgrading our walking and cycling infrastructure together with better quality surroundings will encourage and make the town a more enjoyable and healthy environment for residents and visitors alike. We also hope that improving the transport infrastructure and services will encourage the use of bus travel and cycling and thus improve local air quality, to everyone’s benefit.”

The projects will create 26 new full-time jobs during the construction phase and more jobs once operational.

Press release by North Somerset Council.

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